Facebook: How do algorithm changes affect us?

What are the consequences of Facebook’s proposed algorithm changes to your advertising and content strategies?

On January 11th, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be “changing its news feed algorithm to prioritize content from friends, family and groups”.

“This means there may be less public content posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard—it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.” 

What does this mean for you?

Copywriting & Tactics

The focus is shifting to users will be more likely to see our Facebook posts if their friends and family are commenting on it, including your promoted posts.

This means you need to continue (or start) to create content focused on sparking conversations between users, including questions in your posts rather than just catchy copy/product lines. So far so good.

However, there is copy you shouldn’t use…

What this doesn’t mean

Facebook say:
Using ‘engagement-bait’ to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed.

So less of the reaction emoji posts, ‘like this post if’ and Share to win posts if you want to see your posts appear more prominently on the news feed.

Facebook Algorithm Changes - Click baiting posts

Click baiting posts on Facebook.

Facebook Live

Video content is still the most favored content, this is unlikely to change with the new algorithm. But Facebook live videos may be even more important.

Facebook say:
“live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook—in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.”

The question to ask yourself is, where can you explore areas where Facebook LIVE can be used with your creative strands?

Facebook Groups an option (no really)

One of the changes for the new algorithm is using Facebook groups. Because Facebook Groups already operate on the basis of audience engagement, this marketing tactic could work well under the new algorithm.

Potential for digging our your 2013 strategy again but groups need to be added to the mix for 2018.

Other Factors

The timings of this announcement have come into question. With Facebook being called into a hearing by Congress in the US over calls of using their site as ‘propaganda tool for extremists’.

This update from Facebook may have been just to allay fears and steady their stock before widespread media coverage, and an immediate change may be unlikely. We’ll ahve to wait and see.

Budgets and KPIs 

With extra competition for space for content, It would be reasonable to expect CPM & CPE costs to increase. It’s worth considering this at media planning stage if additional budget is needed for campaigns, especially when targeting for reach metrics.

As the proposed algorithm looks to lean towards posts with better engagement, using CPM as a buying tactic for posts seems like the best option to use if you’re looking for awareness. With engaging copy and creative, targeting for engagement only serves to bring in happy go lucky users.

Key learnings and Takeaways

Here are my key points on how we can adapt and proactively change pre Facebook changes.

• Use questions in your copy and avoid engagement-bait posts.
• Look proactively at using Facebook Live wherever possible in future campaigns, providing it’s relevant.
• Explore using Facebook groups, especially when looking at advocacy & community building within your businesses communities.
• Ensure that your budgets are adjusted to account for potential increases in advertising costs.

Tweet me with your thoughts!

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